Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: A quietly well constructed bullpen after all

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28: Starting pitcher John Axford #77 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers the ball in the first start of his career against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 28, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28: Starting pitcher John Axford #77 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers the ball in the first start of his career against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 28, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – JUNE 29: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to members of the media before the start of MLB game action against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre on June 29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

It was a long offseason that required patience from Blue Jays fans, but the more I look at the bullpen that’s quietly been put together, the more I like it.

It seems to me that the majority of Blue Jays fans understood that this offseason would be a rebuilding one, and that Ross Atkins and company wouldn’t be that active in the free agency market. However, another ice-cold free agent winter had many of us wondering when the Blue Jays would jump on a bargain, especially to round out their pitching staff.

They did acquire a few arms to help throughout the winter, but it wasn’t until after Spring Training had already begun that they signed Clay Buchholz and Bud Norris to help fortify the rotation, and the bullpen. Neither figures to be a top-tier contributor, but there’s no doubt that the veteran depth should help the Blue Jays get through the 2019 season a little more easily. In fact, now that I take a closer look at the bullpen that’s been assembled over the last few months, I actually kinda like what I’m seeing.

No, it won’t be a group that competes with the Yankees’ vaunted bullpen by any means, but my guess is that it’ll be an improved unit from 2018, and one that could produce a few valuable chips as the trade deadline draws closer. As we’ve seen in recent years, that can certainly work in their favour, as bullpen depth has been increasingly valued across the game.

Let’s have a look at who will be given a bullpen spot, and some of the talented depth that will be competing for a chance to stick in the big leagues this spring.

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